Nuttin' for Christmas

This is one of my all-time favorite songs and the kids love it!  Back when Rosie O'Donnell had her talk show (The Rosie Show.  This will date me but it was back in 2000, you know, at the turn of the century, lol!) she did a couple Christmas albums where she sang with celebrities.  She sang this one with Smash Mouth, it's totally fun. . . check it out on iTunes.  

At any rate, here's the song.

My 4th graders are working on syn-co-pa and  I thought this would be a fun practice song for them. . . and I came up with a "borrowed" game for it (below).

Here are a few preview slides of the PowerPoint that I made for it.  I did the whole song but only uploaded the chorus and first verse here:

Here is the syncopa prep slide, similar the slides I made for the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" PowerPoint.  I did NOT do rhythm or solfa slides for the verses- it was just too time consuming to match the rhythms to the text and it's not what I'm using the PowerPoint for so I'm extracting just the chorus for syncopa (and it's December and I don't have the time. . . I bet you feel the same way!):

Here's the syncopa practice slide:

And here's the solfa slide for the chorus:

I did make 22 practice slides that I can also print out to make flashcards.  Here are a few:

So, on to my "borrowed" game.  I was trying to think of a fun way to sing the song but also incorporate individual rhythm reading.  So, here's what I came up with, the game is similar to "Freddy Oaka" and "Son Macaron".

Formation: seated circle

  1. players sit with their left hand, palm side up, on their left leg.  Their right hand is placed in their neighbor's left hand (the person to their right).  
  2. While singing the song, the beat is passed by assigning a leader to start and then individually crossing over the body to tap the right hand of the neighbor sitting to the player's left.  (just like "Aquaqua" or "Down By the Banks").  The beat is passed until the chorus of the song is finished.  
  3. The student who the beat lands on "bad" then goes to the middle of the circle while the verse is sung.
  4. While the rest of the class is singing the verse, the "out" student draws a card from the "coal bag" (which I found at Safeway and Walmart).  They have the entire verse to read over their card and be ready to read it when the class is done singing the song.  If they say/clap the card correctly they may rejoin the circle.  If the don't they stay in for one more turn to try it again while the class sings the chorus.  They can then re-try the card and rejoin the circle, with the new "out" student going in the circle and play is repeated.
Here's the coal bag:
And here are the coal cards, I have mine printed with the coal-stocking image on one side and the rhythm on the other.  You do not need to print the image, you could have just the rhythm printed on the card.  (All the rhythm cards are from the syncopa flashcards):

I did make a "Coal-Solfa Card".  My husband doesn't think it looks like coal. . .which means my 4th graders probably won't either, but ce la vie, lol!  These can be cut in have and used to sing the chorus solfa, solfége echos, question-answer games, etc.:

I did make a couple ti-tika slides to use with my 3rd graders. ..  maybe, there's so much to do before Winter break.  I completely extracted the response from the call-response form of the verse.

Here's the prep slide:

Here's the practice slide:

And I also made ti-tika practice cards to use if I do this with 3rd grade:

Oh, and Safeway & Walmart had a cute Grinch bag too!
This file can be found at my Teacher's pay Teachers Page.  It is $2, but includes the entire PowerPoint as well as the 22 syncopa flashcards.

Have a great rest of your weekend!


  1. You are one 16th note lovin', flash-card making', power point master, crazy women! :) This game will be a big hit, I'm going to try it out.

    1. I'm somethin', alright! lol! And don't forget ti-TA-ti and tom-ti crazy too. . . tee hee hee!!

  2. Thanks to you, I am set for popular christmas songs this year with the syn-co-pa kids!

    1. Tom-ti's pretty popular too in Christmas carols. . .and it's the one I'm in full-practice mode with (5th). There's a couple ti-tika things I'd like to get done (mainly Trepak from The Nutcracker) but I'm trying to get some ROCKE stuff done too. If only there were 48 hours in a day. . .

  3. Amy - another great idea! I had messaged you a while back and I was going to get your e-mail...I can't find that conversation, so, I don't know if you actually gave me your address. This is Anna Thanks!

    1. I just emailed you, please let me know if you got it. :)

  4. Amy - I'm trying to locate a previous reply from you where you gave me the name of a book to get me started using Kodaly in my classroom. I can't find it anywhere! My name is Anna Hoffman - do you remeber the name of the book?

  5. I am new to the blogging world but your page is fantastic, so many great ideas! You've inspired me to make my own power points. I was hoping you could shine some light for me. I haven't had to use a power point before, not in my music class anyway, how do you get the notes into the power point? do you write it first in finale?


    1. Thanks for your message, I'm glad you like my ideas! For the music notation I use Sibelius for songs (pitches on the staff and save it as an image) and for the rhythm I use a font called Music Ed Font- it's $25 and you can download it or by a disk to input it into your font library. Here's the link:



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